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January 6, 1975

Painful Teeth and Dysglycemia

Author Affiliations

University of Alabama Birmingham

JAMA. 1975;231(1):23-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130017008

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To the Editor.—  Occasional published reference has been made concerning the relationship between diabetes mellitus (hyperglycemia) and percussion-induced pain or sensitivity of the teeth. However, these are few compared to the many publications dealing with oral manifestations of diabetes.As far as could be determined, no published attention has been given to the possible association of a sensitivity to percussion in teeth and overall carbohydrate metabolism (hyperglycemia, normoglycemia, and hypoglycemia). Considering these three aspects of glycemia, there appears to be a distinct relationship between tooth percussion pain and dysglycemia, both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.In an age- and sex-paired analysis of 18 subjects, a three-hour glucose tolerance test (100 gm of glucose) was run on nine subjects with and nine subjects without percussion-sensitive teeth.Although there was no statistically significant difference in the mean glucose values of these two groups, the variances were highly significant at every temporal point-fasting, one-half hour,